Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. You can find the Western calendar date here.
“May we live long and share the beauty of the moon together, even if we are hundreds of miles apart,” says the romantic Chinese poem. As the round shape symbolises unity in Chinese culture, the full moon stirs these ancient sentiments, which are embodied in the way the Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated since the early Tang dynasty (618–907). In the past, families would get together to make offerings of osmanthus-flavoured wine, spherical fruits such as pears, grapes, pomegranates and of course mooncakes to the heavens, to express gratitude for a bumper harvest as well as enjoy a reunion with relatives who live far away. To many, this is considered to be one of the most important festivals of the year. Highly urbanised Hong Kong still celebrates this holiday, and does so in style and with its characteristic penchant for fusing tradition with innovation.
If you are in Hong Kong during the Mid-Autumn Festival, it will be impossible not to notice mooncakes. They are believed to have originated from Yuan-dynasty (1271–1368) revolutionaries, who are said to have used the pastries to pass secret messages between each other.
Traditionally, mooncakes are infused with embedded egg yolks and lotus seed paste, but this is Hong Kong where nothing is spared a modern makeover. You can find an exciting jumble of creative fillings now to take your taste buds on a dizzying tour!
Fire Dragon Dance
When the people of Tai Hang village miraculously stopped a plague with a fire dragon dance in the 19th century, they inadvertently launched a tradition that has since become part of China’s official intangible cultural heritage and a major feature of Mid-Autumn celebrations in Hong Kong. See details here.
Lantern Displays & Carnivals
Neighbourhoods across Hong Kong arrange a host of magical lantern exhibitions and carnivals in homage to the Mid-Autumn Festival. There are traditional stage shows, palm readings, game stalls, lantern riddle quizzes and much more. The grandest of all of these is held in Victoria Park on Hong Kong Island.